Songs for the End of the World
Yes, that title certainly does what it says on the can but as for Philip K Dick colliding/colluding with Ziggy Stardust – not so much. K, as in Kindred, incidentally, which is news to me, but the band are clearly kindred spirits, as you will see. Or rather, hear.
However, this seems tb be more Major Tom as our hero, Jim Walters (Dom Coyote, a long time collaborator with Kneehigh Theatre) is sent on a mission to, Well, OK, Mars, as the end of days fast approaches. The way to Hell here is paved with good intentions, allegedly, but meanwhile, no stone, ie cliché, is left unturned. And that’s something of which Philip K Dick was rarely guilty, though I’ll admit to never having read Dr. Bloodmoney, the book upon which this show is based.
Count them off: lost in space; Ashley Combe, an Earthly paradise in New Albion; New Global, sinister corporation; radical rebels. Plus the awkward bugger (Ted Barnes) who flatly refuses to sell up and move so that his land can become part of some vast money-making scheme.
The band, with al kinds of equipment, take up most of the stage, with, surprise, surprise, a video screened on the batkcloth. Props are minimal and as for costume, white boiler suits are de rigeur, although Milly Oldfield dons garish garb as a reporter while John Biddle has a neat role reversal striptease whilst slipping into twinset and pearls, and skirt, obviously.
But, big, bit, BUT, none of this matters at all really because the music is incomparable. The band, lead singer and composer, Dom Coyote in particular, and the drummer, Amanda Dal, really do play as if their very lives depend on it. They put heart and soul into the whole thing, despite a dismally small turn out, A huge shame; quite literally, you do not know what you’re missing.